Monday, December 12, 2011

Tricks in the Alpine - Episode 2

Traveling and living in the alpine environment can pose many challenges, and often times it is the little tips and tricks that make existing in the alpine more enjoyable. Many of these tips and tricks have been passed down from climber to climber and guide to guide, but some of them are stumbled upon randomly and seem so inconsequential that they often don't get shared.

Well - I would like to change that! In an effort to do so, I'm introducing a new series to this blog, called "Tricks in the Alpine." In each episode, we will attempt to share alpine trickery that you may or may not know already. Please feel free to comment on how you've used these tricks, expanded on them, or look forward to using them!

1. Tyvek mailing envelope for crampon storage

Not all packs have crampon pockets, and not all people like to strap crampons on the outside of the pack.  If that's the case, your choice is to put your crampons inside your pack or under your pack lid.  Trouble is, crampons are sharp - and you don't want them cutting/tearing into your pack or clothes.  Instead of wrapping your crampons in a sweater, or haphazardly throwing them in your pack, pick up a Tyvek mailing envelope from the store.  This extremely lightweight envelope is also very tear resistant, and will provide just enough protection for your sharp points.

2. Empty brain of your pack stored inside the pack

Not all packs have removable lids, or brains - as I like to call them.  This can pose an issue when you just don't have enough inside the pack to fill it, but you still want to use the organization of the pockets on the brain.  If this is the case, you end up with a floppy backpack that doesn't balance well, and the brain throws you around as you move up a climb or hike down a trail.  A simple fix to this, is to open up your pack, and stuff the brain inside the pack itself.  Once you've done this, pull the drawcord shut and voila!  Your pack should now balance better, as well as look cleaner.

That's it for this episode.  Keep your tips coming!

--Andrew Yasso
Program Coordinator & Guide

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